UTSA conference to focus on economic development of rural communities

Texas Rural Challenge

Share this Story

(May 29, 2013) -- The Rural Business Program in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) will host its annual Texas Rural Challenge June 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center, 1001 McCarty Lane, San Marcos, Texas, 78666. The gathering is Texas' only statewide economic development conference for rural communities.

Offered in partnership with the Office of the Governor and the Texas Economic Development Council, the conference will focus on the challenges facing rural Texans. It also will spur small business and economic growth in rural communities by providing attendees with practical and proven approaches to rural development.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Andres Alcantar, chairman commissioner representing the public, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Candace Klein, founder and CEO, BG Ventures and SoMoLend
  • Vaughn L. Grisham, director emeritus, McLean Institute for Community Development/professor emeritus of sociology, University of Mississippi
  • Javier Moreno, assistant manager of corporate and product communications, Toyota Motors North America Inc.

Additionally, the conference will offer breakout sessions in three tracks: Business and Economic Development, Community Development and Statewide Rural Issues. Breakout session topics include, but are not limited to, municipal training, best practices for growth, innovation and funding, and rural success stories. (View the tentative agenda).

"Henry Ford said it best: 'Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress.' That is what the Texas Rural Challenge is all about. Bringing people together, making progress and achieving success," said Gilbert Gonzalez, director of the UTSA Rural Business Program. "We are proud to be hosting the conference and know that the discussions and relationships established here will improve the rural community."

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 12 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. It serves San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area, and regional, national and international stakeholders, supporting UTSA's community engagement mission with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses.

The institute's Rural Business Program provides customized technical assistance, training, advisory services, research, strategic planning, business and resource development to rural small and mediumĀ­sized businesses, economic development corporations, communities and local governments.

>> To learn more about the Texas Rural Challenge and to register, visit the Texas Rural Challenge website or contact Gilbert Gonzalez at 210-458-2877.

>> Connect online with the UTSA Institute for Economic Development on Facebook or Twitter.